Let’s Cook

Acai Bowl – This is like an adult, good for you smoothie! Packed with fresh fruits and granola, acai bowls are the perfect way to start your morning to get you energized, nourished and out the door. Not to mention, they’re so simple to put together! I tried the below at a local cafe and will DEFINITELY be remaking it in my kitchen.

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Ingredients

  • Acai smoothie mix
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 7-10 Blueberries
  • 1 Kiwi
  • Granola of your choice
  • Chia Seeds
  • Honey

Instructions

  • In a bowl put Acai smoothie layer down first. Then place all of your fruit ingredients on top how you’d like.
  • Drizzle Honey over the top
  • Add chia seeds

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Power bowls are the BEST. Honestly, just eating something called a “power bowl” makes me feel powerful. Our absolute favorite power bowl right now is a Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Power Bowl. I have linked the page but below is the recipe for quick reference (this recipe and photo are not mine and belong to the link I have provided above, Your Choice Nutrition, LLC):

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2–1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 head small cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped into ~3 big chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)

Extra Add Ins

  • diced avocado
  • juice of lime
  • chopped cilantro
  • plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place your diced and chopped vegetables on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables then toss, spreading the olive oil evenly on the vegetables. Sprinkle on the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and toss again to distribute the seasonings. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, turning half way through. When done, remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool. Remove and dice the onion chunks into smaller pieces, then mix back in with the sweet potatoes and cauliflower.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the water to boil in a medium sauce pan. Add in the quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until tender and the liquid has been absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. To assemble the bowls, divide everything between 2 bowls starting with the quinoa on the bottom then the roasted vegetables and black beans. Top with desired additional toppings, such as avocado, lime juice, cilantro or plain Greek yogurt. Enjoy!
  4. If you end up with a little extra than can fit into two bowls, pack some away and reheat for lunch tomorrow!

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Vegetable packed minestrone soup because some days are just soup days. This recipe is DELICIOUS. Packed full of flavor and fresh vegetables its as explosive with colors as it is flavors. I found this one from one of my all time favorite Instagram accounts, @healthyitalian. She cooks really delicious, quick meals and has recently become plant based, perfect timing or what?! I followed this recipe exactly but just omitted the pasta and added a bit more kidney beans for heartiness. (this recipe and photo are not mine and belong to @healthyitalian via Instagram):

IMG_6517Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • 3 small carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks chopped
  • 1 Small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small zucchini quartered then chopped
  • 2 cans organic low sodium kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 1/2 32oz boxes organic veggie stock
  • 1/2 cup organic ditallini pasta measured dry
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1.  In a large soup pot add evoo. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic & sauté 10 minutes.
  2.  Add diced and crushed tomatoes.
  3.  Mix in Herbs; red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  4.  Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.
  5.  Add kidney beans, zucchini, spinach and ditallini.
  6. Bring back to a boil, reduce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  7. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in grated Romano cheese if desired & serve

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Roasted Garlic and Kale Spaghetti Squash – Calling All Garlic Lovers – This dish has just a few simple ingredients but it is absolutely DELICIOUS. It will, for sure, be a staple for us going forward. The only thing I changed was not draining the sundried tomatoes before adding them to the pan. I instead used the garlic oil they were marinading in for flavor. I also didn’t have walnuts but even without them it was delicious! (this recipe is not mine and belongs to The Roasted Root):

img_6582.jpgIngredients

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash roasted
  • 1 small head kale chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoesdrained
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Roast the spaghetti squash along with the garlic. To roast garlic, cut the top off, of the bulb, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Place in the oven with the spaghetti squash for the whole duration of roasting. Roast the walnuts for 5 minutes if desired.

  • When the spaghetti squash and garlic (and walnuts) have finished roasting, allow them to cool enough to handle. Once cool, use a fork to release the strands of spaghetti squash and place in a large bowl. Peel the garlic cloves, give them a rough chop, and transfer them to the bowl with the spaghetti squash.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped kale. Cover and cook until kale has wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sun dried tomatoes, along with the spaghetti squash, roasted garlic, and walnuts. Continue cooking and stirring until all of the ingredients are well-combined and heated through.

Add sea salt to taste and taste the spaghetti squash for flavor. If desired, drizzle a couple tablespoons of lemon juice over the spaghetti squash for added citrusy flavor. Serve and enjoy!

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Stuffed Pepper Goodness – I love my mothers stuffed peppers recipe but, because I am not eating meat right now, I can’t make them. My favorite plant based Instagram page delivered again, though! I tried these brown rice and black bean stuffed peppers last night and THEY ARE DELICIOUS. The only alteration I made to the recipe was just putting the peppers in for 30 min and not back again for 15 as my husband hates a soft pepper (this recipe and photo are not mine and belong to @healthyitalian via Instagram):

IMG_6646Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 2 15oz can organic low sodium black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced in half
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  •  1/4 cup organic veggie broth
  • 1 cup organic brown rice (measured dry)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400. Cook brown rice as directed (I cook mine in veggie broth to add flavor).
  • In a large skillet add evoo, onions, and garlic. Sauté 10 min.
  • Add black beans and cooked brown rice.
  • Mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, salt pepper & red pepper flakes. Mix well.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Line a glass baking dish with bell pepper halves & season them with s&p.
  • Fill with black bean rice mix.
  • Pour veggie broth in the bottom of the pan.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and cook until peppers are cooked to desired softness. About another 15 minutes.

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Roasted Tomatoes – Need I say More? I love this recipe. It is light and perfect for the warmer months and packed with yummy garlicky flavor. I followed this recipe exactly without the optional Romano cheese, but next time will consider adding in a splash of organic, dry white wine. (this recipe is not mine and belongs to @healthyitalian via Instagram):

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Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp evoo
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 lb organic brown rice quinoa pasta (found at Aldi or TJ’s)
  • 1 10oz bag Tuscan kale, ribs removed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • Salt, fresh cracked pepper, & red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 and add cherry tomatoes, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 2 tbsp evoo to a sheet pan
  • Toss to coat then roast tomatoes until they are tender/ burst, about 15 minutes
  • In a large soup pot cook pasta until al dente
  • Strain then immediately run under cold water (this is unique to brown rice quota pasta to prevent it from getting gummy
  • Add 2 tbsp evoo to pot, onion, and garlic
  • Season with s&p and red pepper
  • Sauté until onions are tender. Add veggie broth and kale
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer until kale is tender
  • Add your cooked pasta and roasted tomatoes and toss to coat
  • Adjust seasoning to taste & add grated Romano if desired then serve

 

The Perfect Summer Juice – Medical Medium has been my favorite since I started reading his books a couple of months ago. Its so fascinating to learn about what different foods can do for your health. Over Memorial Day weekend he uploaded a recipe for Watermelon Strawberry Lemonade. SOLD. It was delicious. I don’t have exact measurements but I played with the ingredients and it will be a staple for me this summer for sure. The best part is you don’t even need a juicer, just a blender! (shout out to my husband for literally lending me a hand in the photo below).

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Ingredients

  • About a 1/4 of a watermelon
  • a good chunk of ginger
  • 3-4 strawberries
  • 2 juiced lemons

Instructions

  • In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until juice consistency
  • Enjoy!